Light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs hang illuminated at the Osram Licht AG exhibition stand during the Building + Light trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany, on Tuesday, March 15, 2016. Chinese investor GO Scale Capital, whose bid for Royal Philips NV's lighting-components unit was blocked by the U.S. government last month, is hoping for better luck the second time around. Photographer: Martin Leissl/Bloomberg
© Bloomberg

Lighting technology group Osram confirmed “market rumours” that it is in talks to be taken private by Carlyle and Bain, sending its shares up 14.5 per cent on Wednesday.

The two US private equity firms have been mulling a €4bn-plus buyout of the German group since the autumn. Bloomberg reported on talks of a joint-bid earlier on Wednesday, prompting Osram to confirm it.

Bloomberg first reported on Bain’s interest in November. The Financial Times first reported on Carlyle’s involvement the next month. The statement on Wednesday from Osram marks the first official confirmation of talks.

Shares in Osram, which was spun off from Siemens six years ago, more than halved in 2018, falling from a peak of €77.64 in January to as low as €30.64 in October.

The group issued two profit warnings last year on a host of issues, including the slowdown in China and various woes hitting the car sector, where Osram earns half of its revenue.

The US private equity groups are said to be interested in Osram’s long-term potential as it ramps up production of LED lighting for cars and expands its product offering in new areas, including horticulture lighting and consumer electronics.

“The company is currently engaged in detailed discussions with the interested parties,” Osram said in the statement. “It is not yet clear whether there will be an investment by Bain Capital and Carlyle Group”

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